Dé hAoine, Iúil 30, 2010

The Two Faces of John Gormley


John GormleySpeaking at a Green Party gathering in Limerick last Saturday [July 24], party leader and Twenty-Six County environment minister John Gormley gave a pledge to end corporate donations to parties in the state, as well as criticising the pervasive influence of big business on politics.

A few days earlier, it was revealed that waste processing company Covanta are considering legal action over Gormley’s continued refusal to grant a foreshore license for the controversial waste incinerator plant in Poolbeg, Dublin.

While Gormley is presenting a tough façade as a fighter against corporate interests, it’s worth pointing out that, earlier this month, he had no problem granting Shell Oil permission to drill 80 boreholes in the Sruth Fada Conn estuary in Erris, north County Mayo. It’s also worth pointing out that the Poolbeg incinerator would just happen to fall within Gormley’s own constituency of Dublin South East.

In a statement in response to the developments, Dublin Shell to Sea spokesperson Caoimhe Kerins said: “In the Dublin South East constituency, where votes matter to him, Minister Gormley presents himself an ‘Environmental Super-Hero’ willing to slay corporate giants in the face of threats of legal action and multiple jobs losses.

“Minster Gormley is prepared to scrap an incinerator plan leading to a legal battle, but yet refuses to renegotiate the fiscal terms surrounding our large oil and gas resources, which would not lead to litigation, despite repeated false government assertions to the contrary, and could only in fact lead to significant revenue for the state. In the run up to yet another difficult budget, it appears he is only interested in protecting his personal votes as opposed to what would benefit the people of Ireland.”

Commenting on recent events, cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson said: “The fact that Sruth Fada Conn is part of an EU Special Area of Conservation doesn’t seem to have fazed the ‘green’ minister at all.

“Since Gormley granted Shell its most recent license in Kilcommon, we have seen an increase in Garda violence against peaceful protestors who oppose Shell’s operation, telling one campaigner that they had his last breath in their hands.”

Leeson continued: “We have also seen hack journalists in the corporate media, such as Tony O’Reilly’s Sunday Independent, resume their smear campaign against people who have the gall to worry about the health and safety of the Rossport community, and who argue for a different way of going about the exploitation of our natural resources. John Gormley needs to take his blinkers off and start challenging the corporate agenda that dominates this state, instead of engaging in empty rhetoric on the issue.

“éirígí reaffirms its support for the Shell to Sea campaign in its efforts to challenge the complicity of the Twenty-Six County state in the robbery of our gas and oil. Regardless of Garda threats or media vilification, we have supported the people of Rossport in the past and will continue to do so now and into the future.”

Déardaoin, Iúil 29, 2010

Jon Anza is Brought Home


Jon AnzaThe body of Jon Anza, patriot and ETA activist, was finally returned to the Basque Country last week.

Activists of the nationalist left welcomed him with voices chanting, flags waving and tears in their eyes. The thousands who gathered in the seaside town of Ziburu in the area of the Basque Country occupied by France witnessed an emotional display in Anza’s memory. Beaten, banned, tortured and kidnapped, the Spanish and French states want this determined people to disappear but, from this display, it is clear they are standing firm.

Mystery surrounds Anza’s disappearance from a train travelling to Toulouse and the fact that he was then missing for days before he was found collapsed in the street in the French city. The fact that his body lay unclaimed in the Toulouse morgue for almost a year, while his passport was among the personal items on his person also appears sinister.

The reaction of the state didn’t stop once his whereabouts were known. On receiving information on the location of his body, his family and around 100 supporters travelled to Toulouse. As they are entitled to, they demanded that a doctor of their choosing could observe the autopsy. This right was refused and the crowd of supporters was attacked by police with batons and tear gas.

Now, though, Anza is back in the Basque Country. According to the Basque newspaper Gara, the homecoming event started at five in the afternoon and, after a brief press conference, the fallen patriot’s family arrived. A path had been left through the thousands gathered and they marched to the stage flanked by thousands holding aloft Ikurrunias [the Basque national flag] with black ribbons at their centre. Anza’s sister and his partner held aloft a giant picture of their loved one, which they carried onto the stage and placed it as the centrepiece.

The first act of remembrance was the performance of a poem in honour of Anza by a young Bertsolari [traditional Basque poet]. This was followed by the emergence of three ETA volunteers form the crowd. The activists read a statement praising Anza’s commitment to the Basque cause and commenting on the current political situation in the occupied country. This was followed by traditional singers, a poignant rural dance and a ballad singer. Another speech followed that commented upon Anza’s role both as a patriot and a socialist. The event ended with Eusko Guduriak being sung and chants rebounding around the tightly crammed square. The Basque Country had said goodbye to one of its most loyal sons.

The end of the nightmare that Jon Anza’s family has lived through doesn’t mean that the dirty war which Spain and France have waged for many decades is over. Only last month, Mikeldi Zenigaonaindia, a recently released Basque political prisoner, related in an interview how he had been kidnapped twice in the last five months in an effort to get him to inform on his comrades.

While being held captive in a forest, his life was threatened and he was told that he would be framed and would have to spend the rest of his life in prison. So, Anza is safe at last but fascism in the form of the Spanish state still stalks the streets of the Basque Country.

Dé Máirt, Iúil 27, 2010

Homage to James Connolly - Derry 2010


On Monday 26th July 2010, an event organised by the Free Derry Collective was held to mark the centenary of James Connolly's return to Ireland.

The well attended event, which was part of this year's Gasyard Feile, saw three guest speakers, Bernadette McAliskey, Tommy McKearney and Dr Emmet O'Connor, music and discussion form an evening commemorating James Connolly, socialism and, as the evenings title stated, was a Celebration of Resistance.

What follows are video recordings of the contributions made by the three guest speakers.

Emmet O'Connor - Homage to Connolly from CÓB on Vimeo.

Tommy McKearney - Homage to Connolly from CÓB on Vimeo.

Bernadette McAliskey - Homage to Connolly from CÓB on Vimeo.

Dé Luain, Iúil 26, 2010

Filleadh an Chonghailigh


(English version follows)

Márcáileann inniu, an 26ú Iúil, comóradh céad bliain fillidh Shéamuis Uí Chonghaile, gníomhaíoch, réabhlóidí agus duine de na smaointeoirí sóisialacha ba cháiliúla in Éirinn, ar ais go hÉireann. D’fhill An Conghaileach, a chaith blianta roimhe sin i Meiriceá áit ina raibh sé bainteach le gluaiseachtaí sóisialacha iomadúla agus a bhunaigh sé Cónaidhm Sóisialach na hÉireann i Nua Eabhrac, ar Éire ag tuirlingt i nDoire i rith ama le corraíl tionsclaíoch agus sóisialta a bhí ag dul i méid.

Bhí Séamus Ó Conghaile, ón am a d’fhill sé go dtí a bhasú ag na Briotánaigh i 1916, ina phríomhinspioráid sa pholaitíocht sóisialach in Éirinn, agus é a bheith gníomhach sa cheardchumannachas le Ceardchumann Oibrithe Iompair agus Ilsaothar na hÉireann, bainteach le Glasáil Amach Bhaile Átha Cliath agus lena eagraíocht féin d’Arm Saoránach na hÉireann.

Aon chéad bliain ón lá fíor thábhachtach sin a bhfaca neartú polaitíochta sóisialach Éireannach, arís eile, buíochas le saint chaipitleach agus ionsaithe na ngnóthaí móra, faigheann Éire í féin arís eile i lár neamhchinnteachta, dífhostaíochta leanúnach, agus oll-éagothroime aicmeach. Arís eile tá na daoine ag scairt amach i gcomhair athrú agus ní féidir leis an athrú sin teacht ach i bhfoirm polaitíochta sóisialach amháin.

Ní féidir linn comóradh níos fearr a bheith againn do Sheámus Ó Conghaile inniu ach tríd tiomnú do bhealach na polaitíochta sóisialacha agus Poblacht Daonlathach Sóisialach nua uile-Éireannach a chruthú bunaithe ar phrionsabail flaitheas, daonlathas, saoirse, cheartas, chomhionnas, phobal agus dlúthpháirtíocht idirnáisiúnta.

Is féidir linne, na daoine, difríocht a dhéanamh tríd eagrú inár bpobail féin, san áit oibre agus ar na sráideanna, tríd caipitleachas agus impiriúlachas a fhriotú. Mar a dúirt Séamus Ó Conghaile é féin, “Creideann muid fós go bhfuil streachailt na hÉireann ar son saoirse cuid den ghluaiseacht suas domhanda d’oibrithe an domhain, agus creideann muid fós go n-iompraíonn fuascailt an lucht oibre ann deireadh le tíorántacht go léir – náisiúnta, polaitiúil agus sóisialta.”

The Return of Connolly


Today, 26th July 2010, marks the one hundredth anniversary of the return to Ireland of James Connolly, activist, revolutionary and one of Irelands most noted socialist thinkers. Connolly, who had spent the previous number of years in America where he was involved in numerous socialist movements and founded the Irish Socialist Federation in New York, returned to Ireland landing in Derry during a time of growing industrial and social unrest.

From the time of his return to his execution by the British in 1916, James Connolly was a leading light in socialist politics in Ireland, being active in trade unionism with the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, involved in the Dublin Lock Out and his organisation of the Irish Citizens Army.

One hundred years on from that momentous day which saw a strengthening of Irish socialist politics, once again, thanks to capitalist greed and the ravages of big business, Ireland finds itself again in the midst of uncertainty, spiraling unemployment and gross class inequalities. Once again the people are crying out for change and that change can only come in the form of socialist politics.

No better commemoration can we have for James Connolly today than to commit to the path of socialist politics and bring about the creation of a new all-Ireland Democratic Socialist Republic based on the principles of sovereignty, democracy, liberty, justice, equality, community and international solidarity.

We the people can make a difference by organising in our communities, in the workplace and on the streets, and by resisting capitalism and imperialism. As James Connolly himself said, “We still believe that the struggle of Ireland for freedom is part of the world-wide upward movement of the toilers of the earth, and we still believe that the emancipation of the working class carries within it the end of all tyranny – national, political and social.”

Our Water Is Not For Sale!

What follows is an opinion piece by Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, published in the Donegal On Sunday newspaper (25th July) on the subject of the Dublin Government's proposal to introduce domestic water metering and water charges.

“I understood when I was just a child that without water, everything dies. I didn't understand until much later that no one “owns” water. It might rise on your property, but it just passes through. You can use it, and abuse it, but it is not yours to own. It is part of the global commons, not “property” but part of our life support system.” - Marq de Villiers

An admirable thought, and the fact that water is part of our life support system is without question. The human body can live for over a month without food but last no more than a week without water. So you would wonder at anyone who would seek to turn this most essential of needs for basic survival into just another commodity, to be bought and sold to line the pockets of big business.

But this is just what might happen if the government in Lenister House have their way. Domestic metering has been an idea which has floated around within the Dublin government for some time now and earlier this year, Green Party leader and Environment Minister for the Fianna Fail led coalition, John Gormley, said that €1 billion would have to be raised annually through water charges, which he intends to impose on 1.1 million households, to cover the cost of treating the water system. Do the math and it is evident that the water charge that would need to be imposed on each home to raise this €1 billion would be more than prohibitively expensive for most, especially in these harsh times of economic crisis created by the capitalist greed of big business around the globe.

Of course, John Gormley isn't going to come out with a “like it or lump it” demand that we pay this tax just so we can have the right to consume the basic element for human survival. No, the reasons behind the imposition of domestic metering and water charges will be dressed up with terms such as conservation and suggestions that there will be job creation from the installation of meters, all in a vain attempt to make he and his ilk in the government look like the good guys in all of this.

John Gormley

Taking his concerns for water conservation – which no one would deny is a fair enough concern – Mr. Gormley would do better to look at the current state of our water services and ask why up to 40% of our water is lost through leaking pipes before it even reaches the tap. Countless homes across Donegal will be able to testify to the lack of investment there has been in our water supply infrastructure after their experiences earlier this year, when services were cut off due to harsh winter weather causing a less than fit for purpose system to freeze and supply lines to burst. In parts of Donegal in 21st century western Europe we seen parents having to melt snow and boil it just to feed their children. Throughout each year many homes in Donegal are subject to stoppages in water supply, “boil water” notices and periods of unusable discoloured water flowing from our taps.

And before anyone argues that a water tax would generate the money needed to remedy any of these problems by supplying the funds to fix our less than fit for purpose water services, remember that John Gormley said that the €1 billion raised from water tax would go towards the €1.2 billion needed to only treat the water, not improve the system. In 2007 the Dublin government in their 'National Development Plan' committed €4.75 billion in spending towards the Water Services Sub-Program to ensure a better water service. This commitment seems to have now disappeared out of the pipeline in one of its many leaks.

Then of course there is the claim of possible job creation that Mr. Gormley has used to try to bolster his plans for imposing this water tax, saying that employment would come with the installation of the domestic water meters. Knowing the current state of unemployment in the Twenty-Six Counties, with well over 22,000 unemployed here in Donegal alone, and knowing that the press would possibly use job creation as a headline, suggesting such a thing to back his argument and gather public support was a reprehensible move to make on his part. He also suggests this possible jobs boost while his government ponders 17,000 public sector job cuts, which would lead you to wonder about the state of thinking that there exists within his department.

Maybe if the Dublin government took some of the many billions of euros of our money they used to bail out the banks and developers who were responsible for today's economic crisis, and invested it in upgrading our water supply, jobs would be created, water would be conserved and no one would have to face the possibility of paying a draconian tax just to receive the basic necessity of life.

But of course we all know the Dublin government too well at this stage to think they would do anything else. The commodification of our natural resources and the giving away of well over €540 billion (thats €540,000,000,000!) in oil and gas to private foreign companies when those resources could be nationalised and the resulting hundreds of billions of euro invested in hospitals, schools, infrastructure and jobs, only goes to show the contempt Lenister House has for the ordinary working class here in Donegal and indeed all of the Twenty-Six Counties.

Domestic metering and water tax is the first step on the road to the privatisation of our water services and we only have to look to England and Wales to see what an unmitigated disaster the commodification of water can be. Ultimately what we will have are those who have the very least in society, those who struggle to put food on the table for their families, paying for a service so the wealthiest in society can water their gardens.

The bottom line is that water meters and water tax is unnecessary, unfair and unwanted and such plans should be vigorously resisted by everyone, everywhere. Our water is the single most important element for our survival and that of future generations. Our water is not for sale!

Dé Sathairn, Iúil 24, 2010

Different Legislation, Same Harassment

As éirígí predicted, the recent suspension of Section 44 of the British government’s ‘Terrorism Act’ has not deterred the PSNI in its campaign of harassment against the nationalist community.

On Sunday [July 18], two éirígí activists were driving along the Armagh Road in Newry when they were stopped by the political police.

The activists were removed from the vehicle and were forced to endure a humiliating search in front of dozens of pedestrians and motorists under sections 21 and 24 of the British government’s Justice & Security Act. They were then questioned about their movements and their personal details were recorded while the vehicle was thoroughly searched by other members of the PSNI for unknown items.

The remit of the British government’s Justice & Security Act, which was introduced in 2007 as one of the final elements of the normalisation strategy, is confined to the Six Counties. The act contains repressive powers for the political police, the Six County judiciary and the British army.

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith said: “Only last week, éirígí predicted that section 44 would simply be replaced with equally abhorrent legislation. It’s now clear that our prediction has become reality.

“éirígí activists in Newry are no strangers to Crown Forces harassment. In recent times, they have been harassed while delivering leaflets and, just last month, an activist’s home in the Derrybeg estate was targeted in a dawn raid which extended into a search operation of the estate itself which lasted the whole day. Now, our activists are being stopped under the draconian British Justice and Security Act. It’s clear that our activists and supporters in the area are being singled out for special treatment because of their political activities.

“The PSNI are only proving by their own actions that they are an unchanged, unaccountable paramilitary force. The PSNI remains a British police force, enforcing British law in support of the British occupation.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “No amount of PSNI harassment, in Newry or anywhere else, will prevent éirígí activists from continuing the work of rebuilding the republican struggle.”

Dé Céadaoin, Iúil 21, 2010

Ceiliúradh frithbheartaíochta: Séamus Ó Conghaile: 1910-2010


(English version follows)

Mar chuid d’Fhéile Gasyard na bliana seo, beidh Cnuaschoiste Shaor Doire ag óstáil oíche phlé agus cheoil chun comóradh céad bhliain tuirlingt Shéamuis Uí Chonghaile i nDoire agus a fhilleadh ó Mheiriceá Theas go Éire a mharcáil.

Dúirt urlabhraí do Chnuaschoiste Shaor Doire “Is imeacht de chomóradh chéad bhliain é a cruthaíodh chun tuirlingt Shéamuis Uí Chonghaile i nDoire a aibhsiú, feicthe anois mar cheann de na teagmhais is stairiúla in Éirinn.

“Aon chéad bhliain ó shin ar an lá seo, an 26ú Iúil 1910 i lár méadú corraíola shóisialta agus tionsclaíochta, d’fhill duine de na réabhlóidithe Éireannacha is túisce ar Éire, ag fógairt ceann de na tréimhsí is stairiúla a bheadh ag ár n-aicme agus ina dhiaidh sin do stair na hÉireann. I rith an ama seo ghlac Ó Conghaile páirt, arís eile i gcorraíl san áit oibre tríd an ról a bhí aige i gCeardchumann Oibrithe Iompair agus Ilsaothar na hÉireann. Leis an bhorradh seo i ngníomaíocht cheardchumainn ar fud na tíre, go dtí Glásáil Amach Bhaile Átha Cliath, agus i gcruthú ceann de na céad milístí oibrithe, Arm Saoránach na hÉireann agus go dtí a bhás míthráthúil tar éis an ról a bhí aige i rith Éirí Amach na Cásca 1916, déanfaidh an comóradh céad bhliain ceiliúradh agus tuilleadh scrúdú ar shaol agus polaitíocht radacach An Chonghailigh.

“I rith na hoíche beidh roinnt painéalaithe ag féachaint ar ábharthacht agus an ról a bhí ag polaitíocht aicmeach An Chonghailigh ansin agus fiú inniu. Thar roinnt blianta amach romhainn beidh tuilleadh athscrúdú ar mharcóirí stairiúla cosúla i stair na hÉireann gan dabht a tharla san áit oibre agus ar an tsráid. Ba chóir go mbeadh an ceiliúradh seo faoi fhilleadh Shéamuis Uí Chonghaile ar Dhoire agus ar Éire í féin feicthe mar thús orthu, is ceiliúradh é ar fhrithbheartaíocht an lucht oibre in aghaidh impiriúlachas agus caipitleachas.”

I measc iad siúd a bheidh ag glacadh páirt ar an bpainéal plé beidh iar-ghníomhaí Cearta Sibhialta Bernadette McAliskey, staraí de chuid Páirtí an Lucht Oibre Dr. Emmet O’ Connor agus iar-chime poblachtánach agus eagraí an IWU, Tommy McKearney a roinnfidh a gcuid smaointe ar an tréimhse seo agus ar Shéamuis Ó Conghaile é féin. Beidh bailéid oibrithe ó cheoltóirí áitiúla ag an oíche chomh maith agus bia dea-mhéine.

Beidh na ceiliúraidh ar siúl ag a 7i.n. ag an ionad Gasyard, Bóthar Lecky, Dé Luain an 26ú Iúil.

A Celebration of Resistance: James Connolly: 1910 - 2010

As part of this years Gasyard Feile, the Free Derry Collective will be hosting a discussion and music evening to mark the centenary of James Connolly’s landing in Derry and his return from North America to Ireland.

A spokesperson for the Free Derry Collective said “It’s a centennial event which has been created to shed some light on James Connolly’s landing in Derry, itself now seen as one of Ireland’s most historical episodes.

“One hundred years to the day, on 26th July 1910 amidst increasing social and industrial unrest, one of Ireland’s foremost revolutionary figures James Connolly returned to Ireland, heralding what was to be one of the most historic periods for our class and subsequently for Irish history. It was during this time Connolly once again, took part in workplace agitation, through his role within the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. With this upsurge in trade unionism activity across the country, to the Dublin Lock Out, and the creation of one of the first workers militia, the Irish Citizens Army and to his untimely death following his role played during the Easter Rising of 1916, this centenary event will both celebrate and examine further the life and radical politics of Connolly.

“During the evening several panellists will also be looking at the relevance and role that Connolly’s class politics has had back then and even today. Over the next several years there will undoubtedly be a further re-examination of similar historical markers in Irish history which took place both in the workplace and on the streets. This celebration of James Connolly’s arrival back to Derry and Ireland itself should be seen as just the beginning of these, it’s a celebration of working class resistance to both imperialism and capitalism.”

Among those taking part in the panel for discussion will be Veteran Civil Rights activist Bernadette McAliskey, Labour historian Dr. Emmet O'Connor and Former republican prisoner and IWU organiser, Tommy Mc Kearney who will share their thoughts on this period and of James Connolly himself. The evening will also have a selection of workers ballads from local musicians and some complimentary food.

The celebrations will take place at 7pm Gasyard Centre, Lecky Rd on Monday 26th July.

Dé Máirt, Iúil 20, 2010

The Chief Welcomed Home


Human rights activist and Shell to Sea campaigner Pat ‘the Chief’ O’Donnell was finally released from prison on Saturday [July 17]. He had served more than five months of a seven month sentence imposed on him for his involvement in protests against the giveaway of our natural resources and Shell’s plans to build an experimental and highly dangerous pipeline through his community in north Mayo.

Around 150 people gathered outside Castlerea Prison in County Roscommon on Saturday to take part in a demonstration celebrating his release. Amongst those gathered to greet Pat on his release was his wife and children as well as many friends and neighbours from the peninsula of Iorras [Erris]. Also present were Shell to Sea campaigners and other supporters from around the country as well as activists from éirígí.

Addressing campaigners and supporters at the gate of Castlerea Prison, Pat thanked those who stood by him and his family, including all those who wrote to him, during his term of imprisonment. He described his time in prison as a “learning experience” and said he remained unbroken and defiant and committed to continuing the fight against Shell and their planned pipeline.

O'Donnell Abú

Referring to fellow prisoners whom he met within the jail, Pat said that “the real criminals are walking the streets”. To loud cheers and prolonged applause Pat continued: “By that, I mean the bankers, the developers and the politicians.”

Fellow Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington then read out a message of support from independent councillor Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, who is currently the Mayor of Roscommon County Council. According to Cllr Flanagan’s statement, Pat’s bravery in standing up to tyranny was to be “commended”. He said that “it was not people who hid under the beds that won freedom for Ireland. It was people like yourself”.

Cllr Flanagan’s statement continued: “It was not crooks like Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke that this state was created for. It was for people like you. Your dedication to what is right is what gives hope that things can change. Without people like Pat O’Donnell this country would be a lesser place. Keep up the fight. Why keep quiet simply because you are bloody well right.”

Maura then went to raise the plight of fellow campaigner Niall Harnett who remains in Castlerea prison and who was in his 88th day of a six month prison sentence for his opposition to Shell’s activities in north Mayo. The day before Niall was sent to jail on April 20 the Deepwater Horizon Rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven people, injuring seventeen and causing the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States.

Stop Jailing Activists at the Behest of Shell

Maura highlighted the fact that every day that Niall was inside Castlerea, “there has been oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico”. She finished up by saying that “we are damned if what has happened in the Gulf of Mexico is ever going to be allowed to happen in Broadhaven Bay and in Erris in north Mayo.”

Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson praised the determination and defiance of Pat O’Donnell and said his activism was an inspiration.

Leeson said: “The jailing of both Pat and Niall was a blatant injustice and further evidence, if any was needed, of the corrupt nature of this state and its so-called justice system. The manner in which Pat has carried out his opposition on land, at sea and during his time in prison, to Shell’s planned pipeline and the giveaway of our natural resources is an inspiration to those of us who seek a society that puts the welfare and safety of its citizens before the profits of private business.”

Leeson added: “Pat’s crime was not what he was convicted of. It was his refusal to be bought off by Shell or intimidated by the Gardaí acting at Shell’s behest. For standing up for his community, and indeed for the wider population of this island, with the corporate media acting as cheerleaders, this state has attempted to demonise and criminalise Pat and his fellow campaigners.

Slán le Castlerea

“Pat has been repeatedly intimidated and arrested. He has been assaulted. He has had his fishing boat seized illegally by the Gardaí and had it sank by armed and masked thugs. As Pat himself made reference to, it is the wrong people that have been jailed. The real criminals are those bankers, developers and politicians that have bled this country dry and created the economic wasteland that this state is currently in.

“It is these individuals who have made their fortunes on the backs of working class people, and those who have signed away the rights to the hundreds of billions of euros worth of natural resources, that should be behind bars. It is those who are placing the lives of an entire community at risk by constructing an extremely dangerous experimental pipeline carrying raw gas close to their homes that should be in Mountjoy and Castlerea prisons, not Pat or Niall.”

Leeson concluded: “Once again I want to reiterate éirígí’s support for the people of Erris and the Shell to Sea campaign. We will continue to campaign to defeat Shell and their planned pipeline and to take our natural resources back under public control, where the vast wealth generated can be used to fund schools and hospitals, not to line the pockets of Shell's shareholders.”

Dé Domhnaigh, Iúil 18, 2010

The Camera Doesn’t Lie: The Truth About Ardoyne


Since last Monday night’s Orange Order incursion, the residents of Ardoyne and those who support their right to live free from sectarian harassment have come under sustained attack from the British government, the PSNI, organs of the Six County state, the corporate media and some political parties who should know better.

According to the narrative constructed by these bodies, what happened in Ardoyne was an orgy of violence ignited by irresponsible outsiders who called people onto the streets to suit their own twisted ends. The narrative is a familiar one: it is one that was used against the residents of the Ormeau and Garvaghy roads, Derry and elsewhere in the 1990s, it is a tactic that has been used against the people of Ardoyne for over a decade.

What the people purveying this propaganda in an attempt to obscure the truth from the wider population ignore are some very simple facts:

  1. In the run up to this year’s sectarian march, the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective conducted a survey which found that 1,100 households objected to the Orange Order incursion on their community.
  2. éirígí responded to the call from Ardoyne residents to extend solidarity to their besieged community. éirígí did not call people onto the streets.
  3. The first act of violence on Monday was the PSNI attack on a peaceful sit-down protest by residents and supporters.
  4. By its own admission, the PSNI fired at least 70 plastic bullets in Ardoyne on Monday, injuring a number of people.
  5. The resolution to the annual conflict in Ardoyne is a simple one: Reroute the Orange Order from the area and accept the residents’ right to live from sectarian harassment and intimidation. When the Orange Order’s ‘Tour of the North’ was rerouted from Ardoyne earlier this summer, there was no violence. Likewise, the Garvaghy and Ormeau roads and other nationalist areas of the Six Counties have been largely quiet since the Orange Order was stopped from imposing itself upon them.

The Six County establishment may wish to bury its head in the sand on this issue but they should remember one thing: last Monday’s dignified peaceful protest was a message from the people of Ardoyne that they will not be treated as second class citizens, they will not be intimidated and they will not be demonised.

éirígí’s activists and supporters were proud to stand, and sit, beside the people of Ardoyne on Monday and they will do so again if the call is put out.

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Dé hAoine, Iúil 16, 2010

Éileamh ar Thacaíocht do Phríosúnaigh


(English version follows)

Dé Sathairn beag seo (17ú Iúil) scaoilfear saor feachtasóir Shell chun Sáile Pat O’Donnell i ndiaidh dó cúig mhí a chaitheamh i ngéibheann as cúiseanna a bhain le himeacht ag agóid in éadan ghníomhaíochtaí an ollchomhlachta breosla Shell i gCeann Iorrais, Condae Mhaigh Eo.

Ag caint faoin ocáid, dúirt urlabhraí éirígí Thír Chonaill Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig go raibh sé tábhachtach don phobal tacaíocht a thabhairt do mhuintir Cheann Iorrais agus fáiltiú roimh scaoileadh saor an Uasail O’Donnell.

“Is maith an rud é go bhfuil Pat O’Donnell á scaoileadh saor an deireadh seachtaine seo ó phríosún ach níor chóir dó bheith ann sa chéad áit,” arsa an tUasal Mac Giolla Easbuig. “Cuireadh i bpríosún é díreach mar gheall ar a sheasamh ar son a phobail agus lig rialtas Bhaile Átha Cliath do chorás cirt na Sé Chondae Fichead a bheith in úsáid mar uirlis de chuid Shell Oil le pobal Iorrais a chur faoi chois ina n-iarrachtaí chun acmhainní nádúrtha ar nós ola agus gáis a ghoid ó mhuintir na hÉireann.

“Tá sé soiléir go bhfuil Shell ag díriú ar dhaoine a chuireann ina n-éadan agus gur úsáid siad Pat mar shampla dóibh siúd atá ag déanamh agóide faoi olcanna a leithéid de chomhlacht ilnáisiúnta. Léiríonn príosúnú daoine cosúil le Niall Harnett agus an príomhoide scoile scoirthe Maura Harrington, agus úsáid na meán chun bréaga salacha agus mailíseacha a scaipeadh fúthú, go rachaidh siad ar maos chun a sprioc a bhaint amach,” arsa é.

“Ba chóir go mbeidh muintir Dhún na nGall meabhrach go bhfuil gach seans ann go ligfidh an rialtas i dTeach Laighean dár gcúirteanna a bheith in úsáid in éadan an phobail ar mhaithe leis an saint chaipitleach nuair a thosaíonn taiscéaladh agus mianadóireacht d’acmhainní nádúrtha sa chondae seo. Bíodh druileáil do bhreosla agus mhiotail luachmhara ann nó piolóin ollmhóra a chur trasna na tuaithe, úsáidfidh gnólachtaí móra na cúirteanna chun duine ar bith a labhraíonn amach in n-éadan a phionósú agus ba chóir do gach duine réasúnta labhairt amach in éadan mí-úsáid ár gcorás cirt agus tacaíocht a thabhairt do leithéidí Pat O’Donnell.”

Chríochnaigh sé, “Is é bun an scéil gur chóir do rialtas Bhaile Átha Cliath tacaíocht a thabhairt don phobal, seachas do leas an scothaicme saibhir agus don aicme ghnó chaipitleach. Tá breis agus 20,000 duine dífhostaithe i nDún na nGall agus tá giorruithe i seirbhísí ar an bhealach, ba chóir go mbeadh acmhainní nádúrtha na tíre seo faoi smacht an stáit, eastósctha ag úsáid dea-chleachtas idirnáisiúnta i ndiaidh comhairliúcháin cheart le pobail áitiúla, agus go n-úsáidfear an saibhreas iarmhartach chun ár n-otharlanna agus scoileanna a mhaoiniú, ár n-infrastruchtúr a fheabhsú agus chun fostaíocht inbhuanaithe a chruthú anseo i nDún na Gall. Is mithid don phobal an rud ar linne é a athshealbhú.”

Call for Support of Protesters

This Saturday (17th July) will see the release from prison of Shell to Sea campaigner Pat O'Donnell after serving five months in jail for charges relating to an incident at a protest against fuel giant Shell's activity in Erris Head, Co.Mayo.

Speaking of the up-coming event and release of Mr. O'Donnell, éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig said it was important for the public to support the people of Erris Head and welcomed Mr.O'Donnell's release.

“It's good that Pat O'Donnell is being released this weekend from prison but he should never have been there in first place”, Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig said. “He was jailed solely for standing up for his community and the Dublin government have allowed the Twenty-Six County justice system to be used as vehicle by Shell Oil to run rough-shod over the Erris community in their efforts to steal natural resources such as oil and gas from the Irish people.”

“Its quite evident that Shell have anyone who dares oppose them in their sights and that they have used Pat as an example to those who would wish to protest against the wrongs of such a multi-national company. The jailing also of people such as Nial Harnett and retired school principle Maura Harrington and the use of the media to spread scurrilous and malicious lies about them shows they'll sink to any depth , regardless of who the hurt, to get what they want” he said.

“The people of Donegal should be aware that there is every chance that the government in Lenister House will also allow our courts to be used against the public in the interests of capitalist greed when exploration and mining for natural resources begin in this county. Whether it be drilling for fuels and precious metals or running giant pylons across the countryside, big business will use the courts to punish anyone who speaks out against them and every right thinking person, regardless of position, should speak out against the abuse of our justice system and support people such as Pat O'Donnell.”

He concluded by saying, “The bottom line is that the Dublin government, instead of backing the interests of the wealthy elite and the capitalist business class, should be standing firmly behind the people. With unemployment in Donegal at well over 22,000+ and cutbacks in services on the cards, the natural resources of this country should be controlled by the state, extracted using best international practise after proper consultation with local communities and the resulting wealth created used to fund our hospitals and schools, improve our infrastructure and create sustainable employment here in Donegal. Its time the people reclaim what is ours.”

Déardaoin, Iúil 15, 2010

Ardoyne Rejects Second Class Citizenship


The nationalist residents of Ard Eoghain threw down the gauntlet to the Orange Order, the PSNI and the Six County Parades Commission on Monday (12th July) when they staged a dignified peaceful protest against the annual sectarian antics which they are expected to endure.

As Monday's unwanted Orange march approached the Ardoyne shops, around 200 residents and supporters, including a number of éirígí activists, took to the road and staged a sit-down protest. It took dozens of riot clad, baton wielding PSNI officers nearly five hours to drag the determined peaceful protestors from the path of the sectarian march, injuring many in the process.

The PSNI only managed to hem the residents back into Ardoyne at around 9 o’clock by firing dozens of plastic bullets, baton charging protestors and turning water canon on women and children. A number of people were injured by baton rounds.

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith said: “The residents of Ardoyne should be commended for the disciplined, dignified manner in which they objected to Monday’s sectarian coat-trailing session.

“The people of Ardoyne, like people everywhere, have fundamental human rights. One of these rights is to be able to live free from the threat of sectarian harassment. When this right is taken from them, as it is annually by the Orange Order and the PSNI, they have a right to resist. Monday’s sit-down protest was a commendable example of resistance.

“The Six County Parades Commission now needs to realise that the residents of Ardoyne will not meekly accept being walked over by triumphalist bigots, nor should they be expected to. The only just resolution to this problem is accepting the right of Ardoyne residents to a life free from sectarian intimidation and banning the Orange Order march from the area.”

Responding to the firing of over 70 plastic bullets by the PSNI, Mac Cionnaith said: “The PSNI has proven yet again that it is a sectarian militia that will use any means necessary to enforce the writ of the Orange state in nationalist communities.

“Plastic bullets are a lethal weapon – they maim and kill innocent people. Those nationalist parties who claim to oppose the use of these weapons should withdraw their support from the PSNI immediately.”

Dé Máirt, Iúil 13, 2010

Breaking the Blockade of Gaza


More than 100 people attended a public meeting in Belfast on Thursday night [July 8] to hear first hand accounts of the recent deadly Israeli raid on the international aid flotilla bound for the besieged Gaza Strip.

Donegal man Fiachra Ó Luain, who was on board the Challenger 1 ship, gave an account of the lead up to the assault and the surviving activists’ ensuing captivity and eventual deportation.

Ken O’Keefe, a former US Marine who subsequently renounced his US citizenship and who now holds joint Irish-Palestinian nationality, gave an account of his experiences on board the Marvi Marmara, the ship on which nine activists were murdered by Israeli commandos. O’Keefe, who disarmed two of the commandos who boarded the ship, also stressed the importance of pressing on with the campaign to break the blockade.

Following their accounts, a lively question and answer session was held, before a fundraising session kicked off with folk singers Barry Kerr and Pól MacAdaim.

Dé Luain, Iúil 12, 2010

An Conghaileach agus an Ghaeilge


(English version follows)

Thar thréimhse cúpla céad bliain is beag nár éirigh le coilínithe Shasana an Ghaeilge a dhíothú mar theanga dhúchais an phobail dhúchasaigh agus a dteanga féin, an Béarla, a fhorchur mar theanga labhartha nua na tíre. Ní taisme é gur tháinig an Béarla chun cinn i measc an bhunaidh. Ba thogra réamhbheartaithe de chuid ionraitheoirí Shasana é an Béarla a fhorchur mar chéad teanga na hÉireann agus iad ag iarraidh an phobal a raibh dúil acu daoirsiú, a riochtú. Thuig na coilínithe go raibh an teanga agus cultúr Gaelach ina mbagairt dá dtogra coilíneach. Chuimsigh féiniúlacht mhuintir na hÉireann é sin a rinne éagsúil iad: a dteanga agus a gcultúr.

Ba é díothú a bhféiniúlachta an iarracht ba thréine leis na Gaeil dhúchasacha a riochtú agus iad a bhrú faoi chois mar phobal. Is iad teanga agus cultúr uathúil na ndaoine na tréithe is suntasaí dá bhféiniúlacht. Thosaigh togra an riochtaithe leis an iarracht teanga agus cultúr na nGael a dhíothú, polasaí a cuireadh i bhfeidhm i dtíortha eile coilínithe ag Sasana.

Bhí meath na Gaeilge ina thoradh ar roinnt imeachtaí. Faoi 1649 laghdaíodh daonra na hÉireann faoina leath, trí pholasaithe dúnmharfacha Chromail agus díbirt d’éigean na ndeiche míle Éireannach. In 1695 cuireadh na Péindlithe i bhfeidhm a raibh toirmeasc na teanga agus an chultúir Ghaelaigh mar thoradh orthu; mheas na Sasanaigh go raibh na hÉireannaigh cúlánta agus dallintinneach agus brandáladh a dteanga agus a gcultúr sa tslí chéanna.

Bhí bunú na Scoileanna Náisiúnta in 1831 ina bhuille mór don teanga mar bhí an Ghaeilge faoi chosc agus náiríodh agus smachtaíodh na daoine a lean ag labhairt na teanga. Níl aon amhras ann, ag féachaint do na polasaithe agus an modh ina riochtaíodh na hÉireannaigh chun smaoineamh ar a dteanga, gur inmheánaigh na hÉireannaigh dhúchasacha dearcthaí na Sasanach, ag créidiúint go raibh a dteanga dhúchasach cúlánta agus bómánta. Seoladh an t-oideachas ar fad trí mheán an Bhéarla agus thug na polaiteoirí náisiúnacha Éireannacha ag an am a ndroim leis an teanga dhúchasach i bhfábhar an Bhéarla. Neartaigh an beart seo an íomhá gharbh agus bharbarach a bhí ag an nGaeilge. Bhí an Ghaeilge tréithrithe agus féachta ar mar theanga na mbocht. Bhí an Gorta Mór 1845-49 ina bhuille tubaisteach don Ghaeilge. Bhí meath ollmhór ar an daonra i rith na tréimhse seo, tríd ocras agus eisimirce éigeantach, agus mar thoradh air bhí an Béarla mar an teanga ba choitianta ag na daoine agus mar thoradh ar an nGaeilge a bheith ag bordáil ar dhíobhadh.

Le bunadh Chonradh na Gaeilge agus Chumann Lúthchleas Gael ag deireadh na naoú haoise déag rinneadh iarrachtaí athbheochan na Gaeilge agus spóirt na hÉireann a áirithiú agus chun mórtas cine a chur ina luí sna hÉireannaigh dá gcultúr. D’aithin ceannairí Éirí Amach 1916 chun deireadh a chur le himpiriúlachas go deo in Éirinn go mbeadh ar an gcultúr a bheith lárnach sa streachailt do shaoirse na hÉireann. Bheadh athshealbhú a bhféiniúlachta mar chéim thábhachtach sa togra frithimpiriúlachais agus bhí an-chuid de na daoine a ghlac páirt in Éirí Amach 1916 bainteach le hathbheochan na Gaeilge agus leis an CLG.

Ba thacadóir é Séamus Ó Conghaile de chuid ghluaiseacht na teanga agus d’aithin sé gurb é an caipitleachas an príomhchonstaic a bhí ann d’athbheochan na Gaeilge a bhí ag iarraidh féiniúlachtaí náisiúnta, cultúir, nó teangacha go léir a scriosadh:

“The chief enemy of a Celtic revival today is the crushing force of capitalism which irresistibly destroys all national or racial characteristics, and by sheer stress of its economic preponderance reduces a Galway or a Dublin, a Lithuania or a Warsaw to the level of a mere second-hand imitation of Manchester or Glasgow.”

Bhí Éire anois ina leagan eile de Shasana ina labhraíodh Béarla agus ina raibh cultúr na hÉireann caillte. Labhair Ó Conghaile faoin mbealach a ghlac na polaiteoirí agus an Eaglais a bpáirt féin i scriosadh na Gaeilge, ag géilleadh do bhealaí na Sasanach agus ag spreagadh na ndaoine chun a bhféiniúlacht féin a thréigeadh. Thuig sé gurb é toradh ar ghéilleadh do chleachtaí na Sasanach ná scriosadh teanga agus cultúir agus gur chruthaigh sé coimpléasc ísleachta: “It was the beginning of the reign of the toady and the crawler, the seoinín and the slave.”

Tríd a dteanga a thabhairt suas bhí an duine i ndaoirse anois mar sclábhaí an tíoránaigh. Chreid Ó Conghaile in athshealbhú féiniúlachta na hÉireann do mhuintir na hÉireann, ’sé seo an tslí chun geimhle na daoirse a chaitheamh uathu. Tríd ár dteanga agus ár gcultúr a athshealbhú bhíomar ag tabhairt droim le ról an sclábhaí agus ag tógaint ar ais “the distinct character of the Gael”:

“Besides, it is well to remember that nations which submit to conquest or races which abandon their language in favour of that of an oppressor do so, not because of the altruistic motives, or because of a love of brotherhood of man, but from a slavish and cringing spirit. From a spirit which cannot exist side by side with the revolutionary idea.”

Beidh díchóilíniú i ngach cruth ag teastáil do shaoirse mhuintir na hÉireann: aistarraingt na Breataine ó Éirinn, bunú poblachta sóisialaí agus athshealbhú an chultúir agus teanga ár dtíre. Toisc go bhfuil an Béarla mar theanga na heacnamaíochta agus na meán tá baol ollmhór ann do na teangacha dúchasacha go léir, ní amháin don Ghaeilge. Tá muid ábalta dul i ngleic leis an mbaol seo áfach tríd féachaint ar mhaoithneachais iad siúd a throid i 1916, atá chomh coibhneasta inniu is a bhí ansin. Caithfidh muid ár meonta féin a dhíchóiliniú agus ár n-oidhreacht féin de theanga agus cultúr a athshealbhú.

I mbriathra an Chonghailigh:

“The success of our cause is certain – sooner or later. But the welcome light of the sun of freedom may, at any moment, flash upon our eyes and with your help we would not fear the storm which may precede the dawn.”

Connolly and the Irish Language

Over a period of several hundred years the English coloniser managed to almost wipe out the Irish language as the native tongue of the indigenous people and to impose its own language, English, as the new spoken tongue of the country. It is no accident that the English language came to the fore amongst the Irish natives. Imposing English as the first language of Ireland was a pre-meditated project of the English invaders to attempt to condition the people they wished to oppress. The colonisers understood that the Irish language and culture posed a threat to their colonial project. The separate identity of the Irish people comprised that which made them different: their language and culture.

The most powerful attempt to condition the native Irish and to attempt a successful suppression of them as a people was to try and destroy their identity. The most notable aspects of a people’s identity are marked by their unique language and culture. The project of conditioning commenced with the attempt to destroy the Irish language and culture, which was a policy carried out in other countries colonised by England.

A series of events led to the decline of the Irish language. By 1649 the population of Ireland was halved, through the murderous policies of Cromwell and the forced deportation of tens of thousands of Irish. In 1695 the Penal Laws were enforced in which resulted in the proscription of Irish language and culture; the English regarded the Irish as backward and stupid and their language and culture were branded in the same vein.

The foundation of the National Schools in 1831 was a huge blow to the language as Irish was forbidden and those who continued to speak the language were humiliated and punished. Given these policies and the manner in which the Irish had been conditioned to think about their language, it is not surprising that the native Irish people internalised the views of the English, believing their native tongue to be backward and stupid. All education was conducted through English and Irish nationalist politicians at the time abandoned the native language for English. This reinforced the image of the Irish language as representing ignorance and barbarianism. Irish came to be stigmatised and viewed simply as the language of the poor. The Famine of 1845-49 dealt a fatal blow to the Irish language. The massive decline in population during this period, both through starvation and forced emigration resulted in the English language becoming the most common language of the people and as a result the Irish language was on the verge of extinction.

With the founding of Conradh na Gaeilge and the GAA in the late nineteenth century attempts were made to secure the revival of the Irish language and sports and to instil a sense of pride in the Irish for their culture. The leaders of the 1916 Rising recognised that to end imperialism once and for all in Ireland the Irish language and culture would have to be central in the struggle for Irish freedom. Reclaiming their Irish identity would be an important step in the anti-imperialism project and many of those who played a part in the Easter Rising were involved in the revival of the Irish language and in the GAA.

James Connolly was a supporter of the language movement and recognised that capitalism was the main obstacle to the revival of the language which sought to destroy all national identities, cultures or languages:

“The chief enemy of a Celtic revival today is the crushing force of capitalism which irresistibly destroys all national or racial characteristics, and by sheer stress of its economic preponderance reduces a Galway or a Dublin, a Lithuania or a Warsaw to the level of a mere second-hand imitation of Manchester or Glasgow.”

Ireland had now become another version of England where English was spoken and the Irish culture was lost. Connolly spoke of the how the politicians and the Church played their part in the destruction of the Irish language, acquiescing to the ways of the English and encouraging the people to abandon their own identity. He understood that surrendering to English customs resulted in the destruction of language and culture and created in the Irish an inferiority complex: “It was the beginning of the reign of the toady and the crawler, the seoinín and the slave.”

By giving up their language the oppressed had become the slave of the oppressor. Connolly believed in reclaiming the Irish identity for the Irish people, this being the way of throwing off the shackles of oppression. By reclaiming our language and culture we were abandoning the role of the slave and taking back “the distinct character of the Gael”:

“Besides, it is well to remember that nations which submit to conquest or races which abandon their language in favour of that of an oppressor do so, not because of the altruistic motives, or because of a love of brotherhood of man, but from a slavish and cringing spirit. From a spirit which cannot exist side by side with the revolutionary idea.”

The liberation of the Irish people will involve de-colonisation in all forms: a British withdrawal from Ireland, the establishment of a socialist republic and the reclaiming of the culture and language of our country. Because English is the language of economics and the media there is a huge threat posed to all indigenous languages, not only Irish. We can however tackle this threat by looking at the sentiments of those who fought in 1916, which are as relative today as they were then. We must de-colonise our own minds and reclaim our Gaelic heritage of both language and culture.

In the words of James Connolly:

“The success of our cause is certain – sooner or later. But the welcome light of the sun of freedom may, at any moment, flash upon our eyes and with your help we would not fear the storm which may precede the dawn.”

Dé Sathairn, Iúil 10, 2010

éirígí Warn of Rise in Equally Abhorrent Powers After Section 44 Suspension


éirígí general secretary, Breandán Mac Cionnaith has warned that the announcement that stop and search powers under Section 44 of the British government’s ‘Terrorism Act’ are to be suspended will not mean any decrease in the use of draconian legislation by the PSNI.

Mac Cionnaith said: “As so often has been the case in the Six Counties, the British government continues to maintain a varied range of repressive legislation on the statute books which it can use at will. That is also the case in respect of this so-called suspension – Section 44 will merely be replaced by Sections 21 and 24 of the Justice and Security Act 2007.

Mac Cionnaith continued: “In the first three months of this year, the PSNI made use of powers under Sections 21 and 24 of the Justice and Security Act 2007 to stop, question and search individuals on over 2,000 occasions.

“The Justice and Security Act applies solely and exclusively to the Six Counties. Indeed, the powers available to the PSNI under the Justice and Security Act are undeniably far more wide-ranging than those available under the discredited Section 44 which the European Court ruled in January to be “unlawful”.

“It should be noted that, in September last year, the then Acting Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI stated that ‘Section 21 of the 2007 Act is extremely useful, in particular because no reasonable grounds are required for it to be exercised’. Those comments alone illustrate the completely arbitrary and rights abusive nature of the Justice and Security Act.

“That such an outrageous statement could be placed on the public record should be a matter of apprehension and great unease to any individual or organisation with an interest in defending and protecting human and civil rights.

“There can be doubt that the coming months will see a tremendous upsurge in the use of Sections 21 and 24 of the Justice and Security Act.”

Mac Cionnaith added: “We in éirígí will be urging domestic and international human rights organisations to closely examine the use and validity of this equally abhorrent legislation with a view to initiating test cases challenging the compatibility of these powers with established European human rights case-law.

“éirígi was one of the very few organisations prepared to consistently challenge the use of Section 44 powers in the Six Counties. We have also previously highlighted the draconian nature of the equally objectionable Justice and Security Act and, as a party, we will continue to mount strenuous opposition to its use.”

Dé Céadaoin, Iúil 07, 2010

éirígí Call for Action on Largo Foods Pay-cut Decision


éirígí have called for immediate action on behalf of the workers in the ongoing pay dispute at the Largo Foods factory in Gaoth Dobhair. Largo Foods are the producers of food brands such as Tayto and Hunky Dory crisps and the calls come in light of news that the workers in the local factory have been asked to take a 3.5% pay cut despite claims by Largo Foods CEO Raymond Coyle in recent weeks that “business is better than last year”.

Workers at the factory were stunned at the pay cut decision given the continuing success of the business and so last week voted against it. Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, spokesperson for éirígí Tir Chonaill said, “This is an absolute disgrace that Ray Coyle should be calling on those who work for him to take a pay cut just so he can line his own pockets. He himself stated only weeks ago that his business was strong and successful and if anything was growing, so a decision to cut the wages of his workers only goes to show that the reasoning behind it is solely in his own interest.”

“The workers have already voted to reject the pay cuts, despite shameful threats from some management that the factory could be shut down if the pay proposal was rejected. And despite this democratic decision by the workers, SIPTU in an almost carbon copy plan of the re-vote of the Lisbon Treaty has asked them to reconsider their decision and vote again. SIPTU should be standing with the workers and supporting the vote they have taken”, he said.

Ray Coyle

Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig went on to say, “Údarás na Gaeltachta should also be intervening in this case, not only on behalf of the workers, but the tax-payers as well. Largo Foods received funding from Údarás of €600,000 in recent weeks, a figure which could rise to €950,000, and that money should be used to support the workers, not the capitalist interests of big businessmen. To date, Údarás have taken a stance of non-interference in this issue and that disgraceful stance should be roundly condemed”

He concluded by saying “Largo Foods is clearly not in any economic difficulty and it is completely unacceptable that this company should be allowed to treat its workers in such a manner, especially given the fact that it has benefited from state funding to such a degree. Everyone should be rallying behind the workers to support them in their decision to reject these pay cuts. I would also call on the workers now to organise and consider action if the intimidation continues and pay cut is carried out and for the local community to support them in any action they take and to show that the working people will no longer be walked on by big business and capitalist greed.”

Dé Luain, Iúil 05, 2010

Cuirfear in éadan Cuairt Ríoga


(English version follows)

Mhaígh an páirtí poblachtach sóisialach éirígí go gcuirfidh siad in éadan aon chuairt stáit ag Elizabeth Windsor ar na Sé Chondae Fichead. Tagann an ráiteas i ndiaidh gur tugadh le fios le laethanta beaga anuas go raibh an Taoiseach Brian Cowen ar son cuireadh a thabhairt do Bhanríon Shasana tar éis dó bualadh le David Cameron i Sráid Downing, Londain.

I ndiaidh an chruinnithe i Sráid Downing, dúirt Brian Cowen nach raibh aon chonstaic ann anois a chuirfeadh bac ar chuairt stáit. Thug sé le tuiscint freisin go dtiocfadh leis an chuairt tarlú roimh dheireadh na bliana seo chugainn agus dúirt go raibh tús curtha anois leis an chuairt a shocrú idir rialtas Átha Cliath agus oifig Cameron.

Ag labhairt i ndiaih na fógartha, dúirt urlabhraí éirígí Thír Chonaill Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, “Tá aineolas agus neamhghoilliúnacht Brian Cowen agus é ag moladh cuairt Bhanríon Shasana ar na Sé Chondae Fichead dochreidte, go háirithe chomh luath seo i ndiaidh fhoilsiú thorthaí Infhiosrú Saville. Tá an chuma air go bhfuil dearmad sásta déanta aige gur ise ardcheannasaí fhorsaí armtha na Breatine agus go bhfuil sise agus rialtas na Breataine maraon freagrach as ghnímh a hairm.

“Tá liosta gan chríoch de choireanna brúidiúla fágtha ar an arm sin sa tír seo, agus bheadh a leithéid de chuireadh agus cuairt dá bharr ina mhasla d’íobartaigh foréigean stáit na Breataine,” arsa é.

Chríochnaigh an t-uasal Mac Giolla Easbuig, “Déanann a ról mar ardcheannasaí go bhfuil sise agus a rialtas freagrach as forghabháil leanúnach na Sé Chondae, áit ina bhfuil na mílte de thrúpaí ar lonnú inniu. A fhad is a leanann an fhorghabháil seo níl fáilte roimpi in Éirinn. Cuirfimidne in éirígí in éadan aon chuairt stát de chuid Bhanríon Shasana go gníomhach agus má chinneann rialtas na Sé Chondae Fichead leanúint lena cuireadh glaoifimid orthu siúd uilig a bhfui in éadan na cuairte seo teacht ar na sráideanna in agóid agus tá súil againn go dtiocfaidh daoine eile linn sa ghlao sin. Níor chóir go mbeadh cuairt ríoga ann go dtí go bhfuil cúlú na Breataine ann, agus cuirfidh in éadan a leithéid de chuairt.”

Royal Visit Will Be Opposed

Irish socialist republican political party éirígí, has stated that it will oppose any state visit to the Twenty-Six Counties by Elizabeth Windsor. Their statement comes after it emerged in recent days that An Taoiseach Brian Cowen was in favour of extending an invitation to the monarch after he had met with David Cameron in Downing Street, London.

Following the meeting in Downing Street, Brian Cowen said no obstacle now existed to prevent the state visit. He also suggested the visit could come before the end of next year and stated that the process of arranging such a visit had now begun between the Dublin government and Mr Cameron's office.

Speaking following the announcement, éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig said, “The ignorance and insensitivity of Brian Cowen to suggest a visit of the English Queen to the 26 counties is astounding, especially so soon after the publishing of the findings of the Saville Inquiry. He seems to have conveniently forgot that she is the commander in chief of the British Armed Forces and so along with the British Government bears responsibility for her army's actions.”

“That army has an endless list of brutal crimes attributed to it which have been carried out by it in this country and any such invitation and subsequent visit would be an insult to the victims of that British state violence,” he said.

Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig concluded by saying, “Her position as commander in chief also leaves her and her government responsible for the continuing occupation of the Six Counties, where thousands of her troops are still stationed today. While this occupation continues she is not welcome in Ireland. We in éirígí will actively oppose any state visit by the English Queen and if the 26 County Government decide to go ahead with their invitation we will call for all those opposed to her visit to take action and come on to the streets in protest and we hope others will join us in our call. If there is no British withdrawal then there should be no Royal visits and any such a plan should be vigorously resisted.”